DO NOT BECOME AN OPTOMETRIST!! Believe me, I wanted to be one too!

Cesar21

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If you are pursuing this path toward optometry school, already accepted or even are in optometry school now, this is for you. This is my first SDN post so I thought I would make it count. Don't write this off as any other negative comments toward Optometry. Yes, I know it isn't positive, but I think if someone just hears me out and I save their career choice, its worth it.

Optometry was my dream too. I couldn't wait to be an optometrist. Sounded like a great job: clean environment, somewhat good pay, interacting with people, the possibility of opening your own practice and being in the health/medical field. I had this dream from senior year of high school and all through college. I applied senior year to optometry school (which I only applied to 2 schools and was accepted to both). All through college I relied on SDN for some Optometry support, but usually it always had something negative to say. I DID NOT LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVITY. I would write it off and try not to think of the negativity and try to focus on the positive. I would constantly turn the other way. One of the problems was I would look toward one successful optometry practice that I shadowed at(which is hurting now to make ends meet) and think that it could still be done when I become an optometrist. A month before moving into Optometry school I had a realization that I could not go through with something like this. It was a hard decision to make to give up my seat. In all honesty I think I have come to realize that unfortunately there really isn't hope for optometry. Even many optometrist that I know have left the field because they couldn't stand it anymore.(I decided that summer to take the DAT and pursue dental school and a miracle happened, I was accepted). Best decision of my life. Every day I am so thankful I switched.

Optometry was an amazing field in the past. I think if I could have been an optometrist in the pre 2000s it would have been an ideal situation. I have come to realize that even though its a nice job, it is not a viable option anymore. The competition for private practice is soooooooo high. Many private practices have closed down in my affluent Midwest town, because they couldn't compete with commercial and the growing online demand. Optometrists who I know can barely find jobs and have to piece together three to four part time jobs to make it full time. Life for optometry was better where online glasses sales didn't exist(Warby Parker, zenni optical, coastal.com), contacts couldn't be bought from 1 800 contacts and now with online eye exams hitting the market(Opternative or Blink) its almost impossible to compete. Optometrists don't make money for their eye exams that cost 50 bucks, but instead it comes from glasses and contact sales which are being taken away. Unfortunately, the public perception of Optometry doesn't think we do any more than say "1 or 2" all day and basically just want that quick refraction so they could get their new contact or glasses prescription to run out the doors and order online. Believe me most people who I know do this. Specifically this next generation. In all honesty I would do the same thing if I was in someone else's shoes to save the money. I mean come on, there is no way to compete against for example Zenni optical selling prescription glasses for 7 dollars!!!

Another issue is that there is just way too many optometry schools, and two more that are supposed to be opening this year. The influx of optometrists looking for work is already a disaster. Even commercial places near me are decreasing their starting wages every year for new employed optometrists, because they know that there is already too many optometrists looking for work. The amount of debt that one must take out for optometry school is unbelievable! If you end up with 200k in debt, Ive seen job ads near me list a starting wage of 60k. How on earth is anyone going to pay back that debt and try to open a practice.....its just not going to happen. Sometimes you might see advertisements for 40 bucks an hour.... for pete sake the dental hygienist who work with me at the dental office before I attend dental school are already making 45 bucks an hour for an associates degree. All I'm saying is that I did not go to 4 years more after college to learn a lot of pointless things that I won't use (because no corporate setting has any medical treatment, they just refract one after the other every 10 minutes) to become a CORPORATE SLAVE working for about 80k a year. That is absolutely crazy. Thats even taking into account that you can actually find a corporate slave job.

I just encourage you to take my advice while you can and get out while you can.Seriously though, RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION WHILE YOU CAN! LISTEN TO ME I ALMOST CHOSE THIS AWFUL PIT TOO! I tried to not listen to the loads of crap on SDN, but in all honesty what ppl say on here is just to help. I left to dental and I am so thankful I was able to get out of Optometry before it was too late. If you are still on the fence join "ODs on Facebook". You will then see some of the crap that optometrists share. They even admit that they won't even recommend Optometry to their own kids and some of them are not making ends meet in their practice. Reimbursements are too low and are shrinking and no one wants to pay anything for an exam because some coporate joint has a special on free exams if you buy a pair of glasses. Their is just NO VALUE built into all the education that you went through.

Hopefully this helps some of you make the right decision, but I can't wait to be part of my entering class this July School DENTAL MEDICINE!! If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Maybe Ill see you in dental school too haha. You will soon realize there is a lot of better family friendly careers that value you and your education and knowledge. So thankful I switched. MY ADVICE: RUN FOR THE HILLS from Optometry WHILE YOU CAN
 
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mathcod

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Add to that: apparently you can get 20/20 vision in 7 days naturally according to an internet video (discovered by a single-mom, it's the one secret doctors don't want you to know). I can't compete with that! ! !

Game over man, game over. gg no re
 
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Cesar21

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Wow If that's true, that's pretty cool! I guess I better add that to the list of reasons to stay away from this profession!
 
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Cesar21

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I should have been a dentist all along its already in my blood with all the family members who are in the dental profession.

I just got back from my eye exam with our family friend who is an optometrist. She was always a little weary about me entering the optometry profession. I told her today that I was going to be going to dental school instead. She told me she was glad and relieved that I switched and almost to the point where she was thankful I switched. She told me Optometry is really a mess. She wanted to tell me sooner to switch to a different profession, but she didn't want to burst my dream.
 
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So you are telling us do not become an optometrist and you are not even one or will become one. Not everyone wants to become dentists. In every fields, there will be negative things to concern. Optometry might not be what it used to but so are many other professions. Do you think we blindly invested our life and financial into something's without researching about it ? Or you think everyone know all about negativities of optometry and still want to pursue it are stupid? I hope that you did research about dental school and life as a dentist.
 
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Not everyone wants to break their back for years trying to pay half a million dollar dental tuition either. It's all subjective. Every profession has it's pitfalls. Congrats on your acceptance and good luck.
So here is my 2 cents. Optometry school is hard. It's really hard! If you are struggling to get in take that as a sign and do sown thing else. I wish I would have had that advice when I started. I have to study 3 times as hard as very one else and still barely get by! If I had to do it over again I would not. I have aged at least 10 years in 3!!
 
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I appreciate the input. I think that many expect to be making over $100,000 after graduation. One should not go into this profession with this expectation, nor should they rely on optical sales as his or her main source of income.

As someone from raised in a low-income neighborhood in and currently living in low-income housing, getting accepted into optometry school is an amazing opportunity to me especially since after shadowing many optometrist and truly enjoying my time.

$80,000/yr > $35,000/yr regardless of student loans. Just depends on how you see things I guess. I'll settle. :) :)

If you want to make more money for your education, dental school is the way to go. I hope you found your calling!
 
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I appreciate the concern. I think with every profession you'll find people who enjoy it, people who hate it, people who would redo it in a heartbeat, but that's why you make sure that you are prepared to face what lies ahead before you decide to spend money on your education.

It is up to you to make your profession everything that you truly want it to be, and you can always change your mind. I have a friend who just finished pharmacy school a few years ago and is now applying to optometry, another friend dropped out of dental school to pursue medicine, and another friend who went from music school to being a dentistry hopeful. I'm sure there are lots of others that do this as well.

As for the money thing, if you base your job satisfaction on income alone that is totally fine, others may not. I grew up in a very poor and broken household and as long as I have a roof over my head and can provide for my family I will be ecstatic. Sure, student loans suck to pay back but such is life. I'm choosing optometry because it is exactly the career I want, but I know that I'll have to work hard after I finish to get what I want out of this career.

However, I really appreciate you starting this discussion, because perhaps some potential optometry students have not thought about a lot of the points you have made, and maybe this will allow them to make a better decision for their life plan.

Good luck with Dentistry! :)
 
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catsomgcats

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It depends if you're in it for the money or in it to be happy.
I used to be in it for the money only and had my heart set on Ophthalmology because damn that's good money right there. But you slowly start to realize that if you have all this money, what are you going to do with it then? You're too busy to even have time to spend it. You want a giant house? Who is going to clean it for you? Just use the money you have to get a cleaning lady. Money buys happiness, right?

In my opinion, the only real happiness money will buy me is paying off my student loans haha.

But back to my main point... it just depends what you're in it for. Sure, become a dentist and make crazy cash. But some people (such as myself) just can't see themselves in that career because there is no patient-doctor interaction whereas there is so much of it in optometry. (might I add in that dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates...). Just goes to show again that money will not buy true happiness.

I have always been passionate about optometry and I always will be. I'd love to make an above average salary which is what optometry can at least guarantee you and at the same time, I want to be able to interact with all the different types of people that I meet at my workplace.

So it honestly just comes down to the type of person you are and what your priorities are. The post that started this discussion, I feel is very bias because it just shows the money side of the career... and not the passion side of it.

There's people that become chefs for a living. Why? Not because it pays amazing (because it doesnt) but because it makes them happy and that's what they love to do.
 
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Groucho Marx

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You're assuming that everyone is looking for the same thing in a career.

Are there problems? Sure.
Does that mean that no current or future students will find happiness in this career? No.
Do I think that you'll make a lot more money as a dentist? Yes.

I have my days of doubt (as I'm sure most of us do), but I also know quite a few recent grads who are happy with their jobs.
Also, not everyone is cut out for dentistry. I'm not saying that dentists are smarter or harder working, but it's a very different job.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of optometrists and optometry students on this forum (no real surprise since it's the optometry section), so referring to our career as an "awful pit" is unnecessary and rude. If you want to help discerning students, then please do. I'm a big supporter of people speaking truth on here, whether it is about a particular school or career, but using all caps and making blanket statements isn't the best way to get your point across. Also, you're speaking as a definitive voice on a career that you've never even studied formally. I hope you do well in dental school and that you enjoy it, but keep in mind that you don't have a crystal ball that showed you your exact future as a dentist, or as an optometrist, for that matter.
 
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Cesar21

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Its great to see everyone's input! I don't think any one field is perfect. Hell, I know dental is not going to be 100% perfect either, but it is more of what I'm looking for (hands on and more medically oriented with a challenge etc etc). I didn't say Dental is the answer,but in my opinion (and maybe my opinion only) I think it is a very viable alternative, but there are so many other viable career options. All that I am trying to do is provide the information that I have gathered from the years, for a person to make an educated decision.

I have shadowed numerous optometrists in every setting imaginable (Private, corporate, hospital, Ophthalmologist office} and have read countless articles. I have 5 friends currently all at different optometry schools around the U.S. this year and they say it is unbearably hard and a challenge. I give them credit for sticking with that rigorous program. Don't get me wrong, Optometry school is one hell of a journey and they know that most of the stuff they learn, they aren't going to ever use. Unfortunately, every one of my 5 friends have wished they never entered Optometry School. They tell me all the time its just not worth it to them and most of their fellow classmates. My other recently graduated optometry friend is having a hard time paying back his 20k a year in loans because there is not enough jobs available.

The optometry schools itself even sell you how much the need is for optometry and always claiming the baby boomers are going to create a major need. We already have way too many optometrists that many can't find full time work. I was kind of sold by the schools too during all my visit days to the optometry schools and eventually to the ones I applied to during my interviews. Just telling you first hand of what I have experienced. It could be a rewarding job, but it is a very tough uphill battle.

For me I think I have realized my true calling, I just wish I chose it sooner. I have so much passion for Dentistry then I ever had for Optometry. The funny part is that out of the 6 Optometrists that I shadowed (half from corporate and half from private sector areas) all of them said go into dentistry instead. I guess I'm just following the path of all my relatives who are already dentists. Until the day comes where you can order online a "fill your own cavity kit" then I'm screwed.

I wish the ones who are still pursuing this path of Optometry the best of luck! :) I would suggest to everyone join "OD's on Facebook" this seriously gives you first hand insight of the struggles that Optometrists from all across the U.S. The nice part is that they sometimes still give some great rewarding stories they encounter
 
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One thing that I didn't see mentioned (I agree with so many of the comments), is that you're saying that it is difficult for optometrists to find jobs in your small midwest town and assuming that is the same everywhere. Near me, our office has been looking to hire someone for over a year. Not only have we not found anyone, but we've received only three inquiries. So many other offices near us are saying the same thing, they just cannot find staff. Because of that, the salaries remain competitive since the optometrists, not the owners, have the upper hand.
But for the most part, any career where you have to give so much time and money up front has to be one that you love, otherwise it would never be worth it. If you're choosing optometry because you think it would be a posh lifestyle then you are definitely in it for the wrong reason. I hope that you actually have a passion for dentistry and did not just jump to that because you think you can make money and keep good hours.
 
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KHE

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I am highly skeptical of a lot of this content.

If you are pursuing this path toward optometry school, already accepted or even are in optometry school now, this is for you. This is my first SDN post so I thought I would make it count. Don't write this off as any other negative comments toward Optometry. Yes, I know it isn't positive, but I think if someone just hears me out and I save their career choice, its worth it.

Optometry was my dream too. I couldn't wait to be an optometrist. Sounded like a great job: clean environment, somewhat good pay, interacting with people, the possibility of opening your own practice and being in the health/medical field. I had this dream from senior year of high school and all through college. I applied senior year to optometry school (which I only applied to 2 schools and was accepted to both). All through college I relied on SDN for some Optometry support, but usually it always had something negative to say. I DID NOT LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVITY. I would write it off and try not to think of the negativity and try to focus on the positive. I would constantly turn the other way. One of the problems was I would look toward one successful optometry practice that I shadowed at(which is hurting now to make ends meet) and think that it could still be done when I become an optometrist. A month before moving into Optometry school I had a realization that I could not go through with something like this. It was a hard decision to make to give up my seat. In all honesty I think I have come to realize that unfortunately there really isn't hope for optometry. Even many optometrist that I know have left the field because they couldn't stand it anymore.(I decided that summer to take the DAT and pursue dental school and a miracle happened, I was accepted). Best decision of my life. Every day I am so thankful I switched.

It is inconceivable that someone who is NOT an optometrist, heck not even finished school of ANY kind would KNOW many optometrists and in fact knows SO MANY optometrists that "many of them have left the field because they couldn't stand it any more."

Optometry was an amazing field in the past. I think if I could have been an optometrist in the pre 2000s it would have been an ideal situation. I have come to realize that even though its a nice job, it is not a viable option anymore. The competition for private practice is soooooooo high. Many private practices have closed down in my affluent Midwest town, because they couldn't compete with commercial and the growing online demand. Optometrists who I know can barely find jobs and have to piece together three to four part time jobs to make it full time. Life for optometry was better where online glasses sales didn't exist(Warby Parker, zenni optical, coastal.com), contacts couldn't be bought from 1 800 contacts and now with online eye exams hitting the market(Opternative or Blink) its almost impossible to compete. Optometrists don't make money for their eye exams that cost 50 bucks, but instead it comes from glasses and contact sales which are being taken away. Unfortunately, the public perception of Optometry doesn't think we do any more than say "1 or 2" all day and basically just want that quick refraction so they could get their new contact or glasses prescription to run out the doors and order online. Believe me most people who I know do this. Specifically this next generation. In all honesty I would do the same thing if I was in someone else's shoes to save the money. I mean come on, there is no way to compete against for example Zenni optical selling prescription glasses for 7 dollars!!!

Same situation. There is no way that a this 1st year dental student would have any clue as to why "many private practices have closed down." I have a practice in CT and we've been looking for a full timer offering a six figure salary with benefits and we can't find someone. So maybe some of your "many friends who are optometrists (HA!)" would like to send me a PM and we can discuss.

Warby Parker and Zenni are no competition to me. You are right about one thing as it relates to that.....you can't compete with them. So don't. There is a certain percentage of people who make decisions based on price and price alone. Don't cater to those people because you'll never win them over as someone will always be offering something for $0.22 less.

Think of it this way......how is the Ritz Carlton able to stay in business when there is Motel 6 and Red Roof Inns all over the USA that offer reasonably clean, comfortable rooms for a fraction of the cost? How does a company like Rolex exist? How do they manage to sell watches for $10,000 when you can get a $40 Timex that will tell you the time just as well? How does BMW stay in business when you can get a Honda Civic that will get you from A to B just as easily? How is Apple able to stay in business when you can get smart phones for fractions of the cost? Well....your goal should be to be the Ritz Carlton or the Rolex store, not the BOGO place and the "two pairs for $69." It's a fools game. And believe it or not, it's surprisingly easy to do in health care because so many other doctors (of all types) are simply too stupid to realize that there are millions of people out there willing to pay premium prices for a premium product and a premium EXPERIENCE. Your job is to provide that environment and that experience.

Another issue is that there is just way too many optometry schools, and two more that are supposed to be opening this year. The influx of optometrists looking for work is already a disaster. Even commercial places near me are decreasing their starting wages every year for new employed optometrists, because they know that there is already too many optometrists looking for work. The amount of debt that one must take out for optometry school is unbelievable! If you end up with 200k in debt, Ive seen job ads near me list a starting wage of 60k. How on earth is anyone going to pay back that debt and try to open a practice.....its just not going to happen. Sometimes you might see advertisements for 40 bucks an hour.... for pete sake the dental hygienist who work with me at the dental office before I attend dental school are already making 45 bucks an hour for an associates degree. All I'm saying is that I did not go to 4 years more after college to learn a lot of pointless things that I won't use (because no corporate setting has any medical treatment, they just refract one after the other every 10 minutes) to become a CORPORATE SLAVE working for about 80k a year. That is absolutely crazy. Thats even taking into account that you can actually find a corporate slave job.

There's some legitimacy there about the schools. The new schools are not needed. But again, I've got a successful private practice in CT, looking to hire a full time doctor at a six figure salary and we're having a hell of a time. Everyone wants to be in Los Angeles or New York City. Regarding being a corporate slave, there's plenty of that in dentistry too. Aspen Dental, Delta Dental, Columbia Dental, et. al. Dentistry has been behind the bell curve on this issue and good for them but their time will come. Simply do a search for "corporate dentistry" and you'll get thousands of hits.


I just encourage you to take my advice while you can and get out while you can.Seriously though, RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION WHILE YOU CAN! LISTEN TO ME I ALMOST CHOSE THIS AWFUL PIT TOO! I tried to not listen to the loads of crap on SDN, but in all honesty what ppl say on here is just to help. I left to dental and I am so thankful I was able to get out of Optometry before it was too late. If you are still on the fence join "ODs on Facebook". You will then see some of the crap that optometrists share. They even admit that they won't even recommend Optometry to their own kids and some of them are not making ends meet in their practice. Reimbursements are too low and are shrinking and no one wants to pay anything for an exam because some coporate joint has a special on free exams if you buy a pair of glasses. Their is just NO VALUE built into all the education that you went through.

Hopefully this helps some of you make the right decision, but I can't wait to be part of my entering class this July School DENTAL MEDICINE!! If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Maybe Ill see you in dental school too haha. You will soon realize there is a lot of better family friendly careers that value you and your education and knowledge. So thankful I switched. MY ADVICE: RUN FOR THE HILLS from Optometry WHILE YOU CAN

ODs on Facebook is an absolute joke filled with mostly losers who do nothing but bitch and complain. Every once in a while there's a good case that someone shares or you can get some decent clinical advice but it's mostly whining. I would not make ANY decisions based on ANYTHING you read on that forum and I certainly wouldn't make any decisions based on the ramblings half truths of an anonymous internet poster.

I can't shake this feeling that Jason K is risen.
 
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But back to my main point... it just depends what you're in it for. Sure, become a dentist and make crazy cash. But some people (such as myself) just can't see themselves in that career because there is no patient-doctor interaction whereas there is so much of it in optometry. (might I add in that dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates...). Just goes to show again that money will not buy true happiness.
This paragraph is almost 100% incorrect. Just for the record.
 
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catsomgcats

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This paragraph is almost 100% incorrect. Just for the record.

You quoted a paragraph that is simply based on an opinion. What's incorrect about it? The fact that there is no patient-doctor interaction in a dentist field? Haha, when was the last time you sat in the dentist chair with your mouth wide open, held by those giant metal tools, and you had a nice conversation with your dentist at the same time? Every single person I know who has been to the dentist actually gets annoying when the dentist tries talking to them and they can't reply back.

My other point in that paragraph that wasn't an opinion is that Dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates. I didn't say "THE" highest suicide rates. But it is actually a fact that dentistry is pretty up there. "Just for the record"
 
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Hi, I have nothing substantial to contribute to this conversation but I just wanted to comment on how happy it makes me that you all are so civil and genuine and kind to each other on this forum regardless of your conflicting views on optometry. Lots of you are acknowledging the difference in perceptions, the different types of pitfalls and sacrifices associated with different medical professions, and how ultimately its up to the individual to choose the path one wants to go down, with both the good and the bad.

I have seen some incredibly nasty posts in forums like these (not student doctor network, but other forums) and have also personally experienced the nastiness. I was really upset because of that and was very wary of joining forums, but every time I log in to SD, I'm reminded that I'm glad to be a part of this community. & call me silly (but actually please dont haha) but you guys help motivate me to want to go into this profession. :)

You all rock :highfive:
 
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You quoted a paragraph that is simply based on an opinion. What's incorrect about it? The fact that there is no patient-doctor interaction in a dentist field? Haha, when was the last time you sat in the dentist chair with your mouth wide open, held by those giant metal tools, and you had a nice conversation with your dentist at the same time? Every single person I know who has been to the dentist actually gets annoying when the dentist tries talking to them and they can't reply back.

My other point in that paragraph that wasn't an opinion is that Dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates. I didn't say "THE" highest suicide rates. But it is actually a fact that dentistry is pretty up there. "Just for the record"

But back to my main point... it just depends what you're in it for. Sure, become a dentist and make crazy cash.
I don't really know what "crazy cash" is to you, but I assure you the majority of dentists aren't making what most people call crazy cash. Maybe crazy cash compared to most optometrists these days?

But some people (such as myself) just can't see themselves in that career because there is no patient-doctor interaction whereas there is so much of it in optometry.
Um....this is your opinion, and it is wrong. You seriously think there is no patient-doctor relationship between dentists and their patients? I talk with my patients before I work on them, not so much when working on them, and again after I'm out of their mouth. My dentist always has a short conversation with me during exam checks and similar to what I said when having work done. Also getting informed consent, patient education, etc requires doctor-patient interaction. Dentistry focuses on a rather intimate area and if given the choice most people would prefer to "like" their dentist for this reason. I'm sure there are dentists and optometrists who fall on every part of the "interaction spectrum"-- however you can choose how to conduct yourself in practice.

(might I add in that dentistry has one of the highest suicide rates...).
I suppose this is true (I did say ALMOST 100% incorrect ;))... but almost any high paying and stressful field is up there on the list (physicians, dentists, lawyers, pharmacists, finance...). I bet you wouldn't use this argument if the OP were considering medicine (physicians are #1).

Just goes to show again that money will not buy true happiness.
It may not guarantee true happiness, but it definitely helps...

My responses are bolded. Opinions can be wrong-- see Jenny McCarthy's opinions on vaccines...
 
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To think that some find a career in optometry as a path to success these days is laughable. The days of optometry being a truly fulfilling and lucrative career for the majority ended decades ago. Enjoy the high debt service of student debt, the push for more unfavorable hours, and the compression of margins as retail and online options squeeze out an optometrists profits to a meager existence. I wouldn't say dentistry is much better but to be a future optometrist with the future economic headwinds of the industry is dire and likely will lead to a career and life of utmost disastisfaction.
 
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Groucho Marx

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Spoke with a long-time optometrist today, and he was actually a little baffled when I told him there was some online backlash with the profession. He said that he loves what he does and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Even though he seems to be making pretty nice money, he said that he wouldn't care even if he weren't because he feels that this job is very satisfying.

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.
 
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If you are pursuing this path toward optometry school, already accepted or even are in optometry school now, this is for you. This is my first SDN post so I thought I would make it count. Don't write this off as any other negative comments toward Optometry. Yes, I know it isn't positive, but I think if someone just hears me out and I save their career choice, its worth it.

Optometry was my dream too. I couldn't wait to be an optometrist. Sounded like a great job: clean environment, somewhat good pay, interacting with people, the possibility of opening your own practice and being in the health/medical field. I had this dream from senior year of high school and all through college. I applied senior year to optometry school (which I only applied to 2 schools and was accepted to both). All through college I relied on SDN for some Optometry support, but usually it always had something negative to say. I DID NOT LISTEN TO THE NEGATIVITY. I would write it off and try not to think of the negativity and try to focus on the positive. I would constantly turn the other way. One of the problems was I would look toward one successful optometry practice that I shadowed at(which is hurting now to make ends meet) and think that it could still be done when I become an optometrist. A month before moving into Optometry school I had a realization that I could not go through with something like this. It was a hard decision to make to give up my seat. In all honesty I think I have come to realize that unfortunately there really isn't hope for optometry. Even many optometrist that I know have left the field because they couldn't stand it anymore.(I decided that summer to take the DAT and pursue dental school and a miracle happened, I was accepted). Best decision of my life. Every day I am so thankful I switched.

Optometry was an amazing field in the past. I think if I could have been an optometrist in the pre 2000s it would have been an ideal situation. I have come to realize that even though its a nice job, it is not a viable option anymore. The competition for private practice is soooooooo high. Many private practices have closed down in my affluent Midwest town, because they couldn't compete with commercial and the growing online demand. Optometrists who I know can barely find jobs and have to piece together three to four part time jobs to make it full time. Life for optometry was better where online glasses sales didn't exist(Warby Parker, zenni optical, coastal.com), contacts couldn't be bought from 1 800 contacts and now with online eye exams hitting the market(Opternative or Blink) its almost impossible to compete. Optometrists don't make money for their eye exams that cost 50 bucks, but instead it comes from glasses and contact sales which are being taken away. Unfortunately, the public perception of Optometry doesn't think we do any more than say "1 or 2" all day and basically just want that quick refraction so they could get their new contact or glasses prescription to run out the doors and order online. Believe me most people who I know do this. Specifically this next generation. In all honesty I would do the same thing if I was in someone else's shoes to save the money. I mean come on, there is no way to compete against for example Zenni optical selling prescription glasses for 7 dollars!!!

Another issue is that there is just way too many optometry schools, and two more that are supposed to be opening this year. The influx of optometrists looking for work is already a disaster. Even commercial places near me are decreasing their starting wages every year for new employed optometrists, because they know that there is already too many optometrists looking for work. The amount of debt that one must take out for optometry school is unbelievable! If you end up with 200k in debt, Ive seen job ads near me list a starting wage of 60k. How on earth is anyone going to pay back that debt and try to open a practice.....its just not going to happen. Sometimes you might see advertisements for 40 bucks an hour.... for pete sake the dental hygienist who work with me at the dental office before I attend dental school are already making 45 bucks an hour for an associates degree. All I'm saying is that I did not go to 4 years more after college to learn a lot of pointless things that I won't use (because no corporate setting has any medical treatment, they just refract one after the other every 10 minutes) to become a CORPORATE SLAVE working for about 80k a year. That is absolutely crazy. Thats even taking into account that you can actually find a corporate slave job.

I just encourage you to take my advice while you can and get out while you can.Seriously though, RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION WHILE YOU CAN! LISTEN TO ME I ALMOST CHOSE THIS AWFUL PIT TOO! I tried to not listen to the loads of crap on SDN, but in all honesty what ppl say on here is just to help. I left to dental and I am so thankful I was able to get out of Optometry before it was too late. If you are still on the fence join "ODs on Facebook". You will then see some of the crap that optometrists share. They even admit that they won't even recommend Optometry to their own kids and some of them are not making ends meet in their practice. Reimbursements are too low and are shrinking and no one wants to pay anything for an exam because some coporate joint has a special on free exams if you buy a pair of glasses. Their is just NO VALUE built into all the education that you went through.

Hopefully this helps some of you make the right decision, but I can't wait to be part of my entering class this July School DENTAL MEDICINE!! If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Maybe Ill see you in dental school too haha. You will soon realize there is a lot of better family friendly careers that value you and your education and knowledge. So thankful I switched. MY ADVICE: RUN FOR THE HILLS from Optometry WHILE YOU CAN
The demand for dentists are not going up either and that's why dentists are using service like groupon, and living social. Don't run from dentistry once you feel like its going down the hill. All the health professions are on the same boat, and all are nagging like you. If you switched to a different profession then just move on. I hope you don't quit from becoming a dentist after you realize it's not a viable option anymore.
While it is true that private optometrists are competing with the commercial optometrists, but many I personally know many optometrist who are very happy working at commercial practices. I disagree with you about "corporate slave" part, because corporate wants to make money so that they can pay the optometrists and staffs just like any other practices, and they do make 90+K to 110+K.

You've been a lurker all this time and contributed nothing beside this negative post toward the profession which you are afraid to pursue. Lastly, it doesn't seem like you are passionate enough after reading your article!
 
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As a previous poster stated, there are jobs in this profession. You can't base it on some areas being saturated. School loans can be rough, I'll give you that, but 90-100K/year (even if that's not your initial salary) should be livable. These aren't poverty salaries here. A lot of well educated people would be happy to be pulling that kind of cash. The money is always compared with that of surgeons, dentists, etc. and while it's not as high, it's not like you should be struggling to live comfortably. Unlike the OP, I'm actually a student in this profession, so I'm going to make a guess that I actually know a lot more optometrists, and this site is by no means an accurate representation of how optometrists as a whole feel about the profession. It's an accurate representation of the same few people who for some reason want to come and admonish the world.

Look, I get the need to sometimes be negative, as I have often agreed with student complaints about certain schools. Hell, I've even voiced my own disappointments about my school and talked about some of my concerns regarding the profession. But I am actually in school, living this stuff every day, and can talk about my experiences. This thread was started by someone who has apparently never been in an optometry school, yet has a great deal of insider knowledge on the profession? OP, if your story is sincere, then you might want to start off by not offending the profession of which this forum is the focus. You could have made your point in a way that might have highlighted why you feel that dentistry is a good fit for you (and by extension, possibly for some others), but instead you came out with guns blazing and making general negative statements about this entire profession.

Would be awesome if this place could get a lot more posters from various schools and various modes of practice, but it seems oddly isolated, even compared with the other professional sections on here.
 
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DocJL

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Interesting read.

Especially as a dentist who at one point considered optometry (from a young age, probably from the first time I started wearing glasses in middle school, I remember thinking it seemed like a nice job, lol).


For those who blow off the inescapable fact that it requires so many years of RIGOROUS study (I'm assuming the OD curriculum is similar to dental school, which frankly, consumes your life for pretty much the entire 4 years) and many years that could be spent building a career in another field (think opportunity cost here vs other jobs that take much less time) for the earning potential of becoming an OD currently, I would caution them to think long and hard about the amount of debt they are taking on. I offer the same counsel for those considering going to a private, high cost dental school currently, also.
 
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DocJL

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It depends if you're in it for the money or in it to be happy.
I used to be in it for the money only and had my heart set on Ophthalmology because damn that's good money right there. But you slowly start to realize that if you have all this money, what are you going to do with it then? You're too busy to even have time to spend it. You want a giant house? Who is going to clean it for you? Just use the money you have to get a cleaning lady. Money buys happiness, right?

In my opinion, the only real happiness money will buy me is paying off my student loans haha.

But back to my main point... it just depends what you're in it for. Sure, become a dentist and make crazy cash. But some people (such as myself) just can't see themselves in that career because there is no patient-doctor interaction whereas there is so much of it in optometry.


Money certainly can NOT buy happiness.

But a lack of it can certainly make you miserable.

And when (if you choose to have a family) you reach the point that you want to be able to provide a better standard of living for your family than you may have had growing up (I grew up dirt poor), then you may feel differently than you do now. Just a thought.


Much good insight in this thread, buy your bolded statement above is just plain dumb.

I assume you are young and in good dental health, and your interactions with the dentist have been relegated to exams and cleanings, with the occasional filling, and possibly ortho tx.

An experienced comprehensively trained dentist performing full mouth rehabilitations where a pt will be investing anywhere from 5-10k up to 40-50k in their mouth (this is the cost for full mouth implant supported fixed prosthesis) doesn't have patient-doctor interaction??? On comprehensive cases I spend many hours over many appts, over many weeks and even months, treating these pts, and we often develop a close rapport. This is to be expected when someone is placing that much faith and trust in you, not to mention the nature of how close we must work with our patients, both in a physical sense, and in an emotionally supportive role also. How often does an optometrist complete something as life altering as a full mouth rehabilitation of a pt with severe dental problems, or a large cosmetic case, where the pt LITERALLY is brought to tears at the end result, and gives the doctor hugs and multiple thank you's? While this doesn't happen every day in my practice, it is NOT uncommon at all.


To be clear, my comments are NOT a dig at optometry, nor am I looking to incite any type of flame war. I have a great relationship with my own optometrist, and have great respect for her, and what she does.
 
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This paragraph is almost 100% incorrect. Just for the record.

Completely agree, ...there is a ton of patient interaction in dentistry. I have the best relationship with my dentist vs the rest of my medical docs, why because I see her twice a year. I have even talked about this topic with her and she says that's one of the best parts of dentistry is fostering relationships with her patients. Oh and Gee you get to make $150-200k a year... hands down its a better investment and profession than optometry... Go google top careers in America guaranteed dentist is in top 5.
 
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Xtermination

OptOHopE2014
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[QUOTE="How often does an optometrist complete something as life altering as a full mouth rehabilitation of a pt with severe dental problems, or a large cosmetic case, where the pt LITERALLY is brought to tears at the end result, and gives the doctor hugs and multiple thank you's? While this doesn't happen every day in my practice, it is NOT uncommon at all.[/QUOTE]

I disagree with the above statement, because each profession help patients for specific patient needs, and show their gratitude different ways. If a patient can't see then having all the dental work probably not going to make a huge difference on patients' look other than giving them better dental hygiene.

I have seen many patients thanking many times and hugging after they are being able to see clearly or after they found out they have certain eye disorders which they are not aware of for many years. So I'd says just don't generalize a profession but show mutual respect for each other instead of pointing out unnecessary stuffs. All the medical field professionals depend on each other in some ways, while one profession can make more money than others but at the end of the day each medical professional makes a difference in patients lives in their own specific ways.
 
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DocJL

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[QUOTE="How often does an optometrist complete something as life altering as a full mouth rehabilitation of a pt with severe dental problems, or a large cosmetic case, where the pt LITERALLY is brought to tears at the end result, and gives the doctor hugs and multiple thank you's? While this doesn't happen every day in my practice, it is NOT uncommon at all.

I disagree with the above statement, because each profession help patients for specific patient needs, and show their gratitude different ways. If a patient can't see then having all the dental work probably not going to make a huge difference on patients' look other than giving them better dental hygiene.

I have seen many patients thanking many times and hugging after they are being able to see clearly or after they found out they have certain eye disorders which they are not aware of for many years. So I'd says just don't generalize a profession but show mutual respect for each other instead of pointing out unnecessary stuffs. All the medical field professionals depend on each other in some ways, while one profession can make more money than others but at the end of the day each medical professional makes a difference in patients lives in their own specific ways.[/QUOTE]


You are cherry picking a single line out of my several comments.

I have, over the years, posted several times in the optometry threads when a topic interested me.

I have NEVER attempted to show anything BUT respect for the profession.

My response was directed to the foolish comment that "dentists have no patient interaction". Foolish indeed. I would argue that I spend much MORE time with my patients than most medical professionals, including MD's. How often does your physician spend 2 or 3 hours with you (many dental appts can last that long), and surgical procedures where a pt is sedated do not count in terms of "pt interaction". Dental patients having large restorative treatments are also usually paying for their own treatment, as dental insurance for most is capped at 1k or 2k per year. Many patients are only comfortable investing this much of their own hard earned money with a doctor that they have developed a trusting relationship with.
 
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OptOHopE2014
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"
My response was directed to the foolish comment that "dentists have no patient interaction". .

I disagree with this statement just like you do, because all the medical professionals have to interact with their patients in order to find out the reason for their visit, while some just do the minimal and other go above and beyond to serve the best which is what makes a difference between patient retention rates.

I used to go to hospital for my dental care when I was a high school student, and my dentist was super nice and friendly. Unfortunately, he moved out of the states and I still miss his service and caring. On the other hand, I've been to dentists who just wants to bill my insurance but don't do their job.

All I am saying is that we should not be generalizing profession which we are not practicing. Every profession has its unique qualities and different ways to serve the patient needs. You may feel better about your profession for serving your patients better, then again somebody from another profession may feel the same way as you do to yours.
 
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GlowInTheDark

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I dropped my optometry acceptances and went to med school because the money didn't make sense. I'll say 95% of it was because of financials.

Maybe if someone were paying for my school I would've stayed, but the ROI from my perspective was absolutely stupid bad. I was naive for my first 3.5 years of undergrad, luckily I got some financial sense for the last bit.

Optometry salary isn't bad, but when you knock off taxes and add hundreds in loan repayment monthly (or in my situation $1000-2000/month depending on repayment terms) it's utterly pathetic for someone with the training of an optometrist. My debt load will be better from medical school, but even after factoring in interest accrued during residency I will still be paying my debt off 2-3x fast than I could've with an optometry degree.

Money isn't everything, but try living and raising a family when you owe lots of it to other people.
 
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DocJL

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Money certainly can NOT buy happiness.

But a lack of it can certainly make you miserable.

And when (if you choose to have a family) you reach the point that you want to be able to provide a better standard of living for your family than you may have had growing up (I grew up dirt poor), then you may feel differently than you do now. Just a thought.

Money isn't everything, but try living and raising a family when you owe lots of it to other people.


Great minds think alike, lol.
 
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GlowInTheDark

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Great minds think alike, lol.

That's classic.

Hopefully it gets through to some people coming out of two mouths.

Just like you said, no dig at optometry itself. Honorable profession that does a lot of good. It's cost of entry has just become absurd for what it gives back and for a lot of students with almost zero real world experience it can be a very poor financial decision you will live with for decades.
 
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thisguy88

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The days of being JUST a refracting optometrist are over. Okay, sure that has been our bread and butter ever since the land before time, but if ophthalmic technicians can do refractions and if physician assistants are threatening to add refractions to their scope of practice, then the optometry profession needs to adapt. And you know what? IT HAS! There are so many opportunities and specialties in the optometry field that you pre-opts don't even know about. Heck, one of my professors owns a dry eye clinic (a clinic where they primarily treat dry eyes) and the majority of her revenue is based off of these services - NOT THROUGH REFRACTIONS AND OPTICAL SELLS. Just do some research. You cannot order hard RGP contact lens for keratoconous off of 1-800-yo-mama-contacts. Need glasses with prisms to correct your tropia? Good luck finding that at Warby Parker. The thing is, there are people out there who needs specialty services and the optometry field is or already has adapted to those needs.

Some specialties include: Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometry, Low Vision Rehabilitation, Contact Lens, Pediatrics, Sports Vision, Ocular Disease.... I can go on.

Hell, three states have already approved the use of lasers for Lasik and glaucoma treatments performed by optometrists. Also, did you know in some states, optometrists can use a scalpel and curette to remove a chalazion lesion? Just search "chalazion removal" on youtube. We had an optometrist lecture us on these procedures which he performs in his practice everyday. Looked scary as hell, but you know what, it's another opportunity to expand our profession. (And for the record: I'm not agreeing or disagreeing whether laser and "minor surgeries" should be performed by optometrists - (there's a big debate between ophthalmology and optometry over this topic) - I'm just here to state facts).

I'm not saying optometry is going to be easy. It might be for some, it might not be for others but there are definitely opportunities and potential in this profession.

#rantover
 
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undecisiveone1

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The days of being JUST a refracting optometrist is over. Okay, sure that has been our bread and butter ever since the land before time, but if ophthalmic technicians can do refractions and if physician assistants are threatening to add refractions to their scope of practice, then the optometry profession needs to adapt. And you know what? IT HAS! There are so many opportunities and specialties in the optometry field that you pre-opts don't even know about. Heck, one of my professors owns a dry eye clinic (a clinic where they primarily treat dry eyes) and the majority of her revenue is based off of these services - NOT THROUGH REFRACTIONS AND OPTICAL SELLS. Just do some research. You cannot order hard RGP contact lens for keratoconous off of 1-800-yo-mama-contacts. Need glasses with prisms to correct your tropia? Good luck finding that at Warby Parker. The thing is, there are people out there who needs specialty services and the optometry field is or already has adapted to those needs.

Some specialties include: Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometry, Low Vision Rehabilitation, Contact Lens, Pediatrics, Sports Vision, Ocular Disease.... I can go on.

Hell, three states have already approved the use of lasers for Lasik and glaucoma treatments performed by optometrists. Also, did you know in some states, optometrists can use a scalpel and curette to remove a chalazion lesion? Just search "chalazion removal" on youtube. We had an optometrist lecture us on these procedures which he performs in his practice everyday. Looked scary as hell, but you know what, it's another opportunity to expand our profession. (And for the record: I'm not agreeing or disagreeing whether laser and "minor surgeries" should be performed by optometrists - (there's a big debate over ophthalmology and optometry over this topic) - I'm just here to state facts).

I'm not saying optometry is going to be easy. It might be for some, it might not be for others but there are definitely opportunities and potential in this profession.

#rantover
Does going into residency and specializing bring in a higher chance of finding a job?

Also, thank you for this refreshing post about optometry
 
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thisguy88

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Does going into residency and specializing bring in a higher chance of finding a job?

Also, thank you for this refreshing post about optometry

My perception is that a residency will help you find a job that YOU WANT easier. It allows you to be more marketable.
A residency doesn't necessarily equate to greater pay - it just helps you find work in the specialty you want.

For example, if I graduated from optometry school and wanted to work with pediatrics, then I could certainty apply for a position in a peds clinic. Now, if I were applying against a pediatric residency-trained optometrist, who do you think they'll most likely hire?
 
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Thought I'd add my 2 cents here. While I wont start school until August, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the majority of us, including myself, didn't get into optometry for the money we want to enter optometry because we love it. Just like you seem to with dentistry. I don't doubt that those who are in solely for the money or any other reason other than passion for the field will have a difficult time finishing school, as many have pointed out it will be extremely difficult. While I'm fully aware that some regions are saturated with optometrists, there are also areas that aren't (the area I live in is in search of a few) so I think that stating all areas are full and no one will find a job is a bit of an over statement.
 
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Cesar21

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This is a link that was made by a new grad optometrist warning others of the profession....

 

thisguy88

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This is a link that was made by a new grad optometrist warning others of the profession....


Whoever made that video is obviously very bitter about optometry. I mean just take a second to analyze the overall presentation. He made a youtube channel called "StayAwayFromOD" and if you read his comments, you can tell he's a tool .... Let me quote:

"StayAwayFromAnOD
3 years ago
@ttiiyy Everyone stand back, she's gonna blow! I don't know why I assumed you're a woman- you just seem to take on that neurotic, annoying, hysterical quality of a woman who just discovered a sale at Nordstrom or something."

No wonder he's having a hard time finding work... who would hire this prick???

He spends half the video talking about not being able to own a private practice right after graduation... well of course. Who would want a 500k-1M loan to open a private practice on top of your student loans? Plus with the lack of real world experience.... you're just asking for failure. The more realistic jobs after graduation are being an associate for a private practice or working retail. And also, he talks about working in corporate like it's a bad thing. "Corporate slave" is what you termed it too, right? Some people actually prefer this mode of practice - good pay, good benefits, an endless patient supply, etc. Yeah I get how corporate pushes optical and product sales, but at the end of the day, the optometrist is providing a needed service. Have you ever thought about the good of corporate opticals and even dental chains? Without these, low income families may never get an eye exam or a dental checkup. Please tell me why you hate corporate so much? Chances are, you will start out as a corporate dentist.

Anyways, I'm getting a bit off track. Yes, Optometry does have it's challenges, just like any other profession. At the end of the day, there will be people that struggle with optometry but I guaranteed there will be more people that finds success. Just make sure you're not the bottom 10%.

Just to prove a point, I can make the dental profession look pretty bad by cherry picking forums and articles:

Article:
A MUST READ --> http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/dental-grads-find-tough-pull

Forums:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/are-dentist-jobs-getting-saturated.382063/
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...is-there-not-a-saturation-of-dentists.645629/
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/how-serious-is-oversaturation-in-dentistry.903992/
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/what-can-we-expect-in-the-future-of-dentistry.799718/
 
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KHE

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Whoever made that video is obviously very bitter about optometry. I mean just take a second to analyze the overall presentation. He made a youtube channel called "StayAwayFromOD" and if you read his comments, you can tell he's a tool .... Let me quote:

"StayAwayFromAnOD
3 years ago
@ttiiyy Everyone stand back, she's gonna blow! I don't know why I assumed you're a woman- you just seem to take on that neurotic, annoying, hysterical quality of a woman who just discovered a sale at Nordstrom or something."

No wonder he's having a hard time finding work... who would hire someone this prick???

He spends half the video talking about not being able to own a private practice right after graduation... well of course. Who would want a 500k-1M loan to open a private practice on top of your student loans? Plus with the lack of real world experience.... you're just asking for failure. The more realistic jobs after graduation are being an associate for a private practice or working retail. And also, he talks about working in corporate like it's a bad thing. "Corporate slave" is what you termed it too, right? Some people actually prefer this mode of practice - good pay, good benefits, an endless patient supply, etc. Yeah I get how corporate pushes optical and product sales, but at the end of the day, the optometrist is providing a needed service. Have you ever thought about the good of corporate opticals and even dental chains? Without these, low income families may never get an eye exam or a dental checkup. Please tell me why you hate corporate so much? Chances are, you will start out as a corporate dentist.

Anyways, I'm getting a bit off track. Yes, Optometry does have it's challenges, just like any other profession. At the end of the day, there will be people that struggle with optometry but I guaranteed there will be more people that finds success. Just make sure you're not the bottom 10%.

Just to prove a point, I can make the dental profession look pretty bad by cherry picking forums and articles:

Article:
A MUST READ --> http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/dental-grads-find-tough-pull

Forums:
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/are-dentist-jobs-getting-saturated.382063/
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/thr...is-there-not-a-saturation-of-dentists.645629/
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/how-serious-is-oversaturation-in-dentistry.903992/
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/what-can-we-expect-in-the-future-of-dentistry.799718/

That is absurd. You can open a private practice for less than $50,000. It won't be huge, your equipment will be used and your frames (if you choose to have an optical) will be on consignment but I could get you up and running in a private practice for less than $50,000 right out of school.
 
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thisguy88

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That is absurd. You can open a private practice for less than $50,000. It won't be huge, your equipment will be used and your frames (if you choose to have an optical) will be on consignment but I could get you up and running in a private practice for less than $50,000 right out of school.

Okay yeah sorry 500k-1M is a stretch. I was just thinking of the net worth of some of the practices I personally know and didn't look at it objectively.

But 50k for a practice huh? I would think equipment cost alone would surpass 50k. You should type up a general layout plan of this. I'd love to see it (and I'm being for reals, I'm not being sarcastic).
 
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docante

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If you are pursuing this path toward optometry school, already accepted or even are in optometry school now, this is for you. This is my first SDN post so I thought I would make it count. Don't write this off as any other negative comments toward Optometry. Yes, I know it isn't positive, but I think if someone just hears me out and I save their career choice, its worth it.


Good call! After actually being an OD for 18 years and never finding a full time job, and of course, no benefits I am happy to say I am leaving the field altogether. I know I will never look back!]
 
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Cesar21

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Feb 22, 2015
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Well folks....its official.... Opternative is up and running. You can get your glasses and contacts prescription for 60 bucks from taking an online eye exam and its all legal. Most of my friends have done the exam, and its very accurate. They used their new prescription to buy glasses online at Warby Parker, and contacts at 1800 contacts. This new generation is not going to see an eye doctor.

https://www.opternative.com/
 

undecisiveone1

5+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2015
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  1. Pre-Optometry
http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/27/online-eye-test/

The comments from this website makes some good points. An eye exam isn't only about refraction and giving out glasses. An eye exam includes detection of eye diseases, ensures comfort of lenses, examines ocular health, etc.
This online "exam" is equivalent to the patient examining him or herself. Personally I'd trust seeing a live person to have my eyes checked than to go through another webmd
 
Jul 21, 2015
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www.ooooiiii.com
Well folks....its official.... Opternative is up and running. You can get your glasses and contacts prescription for 60 bucks from taking an online eye exam and its all legal. Most of my friends have done the exam, and its very accurate. They used their new prescription to buy glasses online at Warby Parker, and contacts at 1800 contacts. This new generation is not going to see an eye doctor.

https://www.opternative.com/

Thanks for keeping people out of this profession, less competition for me in the future. You are doing God's work.
 
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Snakedoctor1

5+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2014
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This new generation is not going to see an eye doctor.

Because no one ever has questions about their eyes...

It goes back to what KHE mentioned about the difference between the Hilton and motel 6. There is also a machine they just came out with that takes your prescription in just a few seconds, all you have to do is look at it. If that's not going to put Optometry under, I don't know what is. Oh wait... It's been around for years, just like 1-800-contacts.

I know you are simply stating your opinions and experiences, and you seem legitimately worried about people entering this profession without having done any research, so my sarcasm isn't directed toward you. I just think the situation is much more broad and complicated than you are making it. Saturation affects different areas in different ways (certainly it will get worse with new schools), and people need to be aware of that. Obviously there are still places where good jobs are available. My uncle works in a vision therapy practice that has been looking for a partner for quite some time, and he is located in one of the most saturated parts of the country. People can be choosy, and when you don't achieve that perfect dream job, the profession has failed you. I do hope more OD hopefuls read your posts though, it might spark some serious research and introspection.

I have to say though, that a lot of the arguments about passion over money are just silly. Of course you should be passionate and interested in the career that will occupy much of your adult life. But to say that money just doesn't matter because I'm so passionate about this career is just unrealistic. Why aren't you concerned about supporting yourself, let alone a family? What concerns me is that some of you seem to be so unconcerned about money that you will eventually be in the exact situation Cesar is describing.

Look at all sides, there are so many factors to consider. I think Optometry needs people who are willing to change with the times, and find ways to adapt, so that we can meet the needs of the public, while still making a decent living. Old practice models will have to change, without a doubt, and I think that's a good thing. I don't plan on competing with Warby Parker.
 
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KHE

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2005
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  1. Optometrist
Well folks....its official.... Opternative is up and running. You can get your glasses and contacts prescription for 60 bucks from taking an online eye exam and its all legal. Most of my friends have done the exam, and its very accurate. They used their new prescription to buy glasses online at Warby Parker, and contacts at 1800 contacts. This new generation is not going to see an eye doctor.

https://www.opternative.com/

Another posting that defies logic.

Opternative has been online for about a week at your posting and already "most of your friends have done the exam and purchases glasses and contact lenses online."

I'm simply not buying it. That is just hyperbole to try to make your point. Of course, it's very convenient on an internet forum where we're all anonymous and there is absolutely no way to verify your claims. You'll probably just reply with "I don't care what you say, I know it's true." Again, not buying it.

For the rest of you.....read this article and explain to me how this is possible?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/guys-wait-2-hours-spend-161547596.html
 

maisv

5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2014
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  1. Optometry Student
I'm starting optometry school in a few weeks, I'm actually pretty intrigued by all the negative comments in this forum because I honestly have never met an unhappy OD before. I've been working at a "walmart office" located at one of the so called "saturated city" for 4 years and the only problem this office has is not able to accommodate all walk-ins because we are literally booked all the dang time, I came by to say goodbye to the doctor/owner before going off to school and she was on her 22nd patient at 4 pm on a Thursday ! (they close at 7 pm). Yes, her exam is relatively quick to accommodate the amount of people but patients love this lady and keep coming back year after year because of her personality (also helps that she's extremely accurate) and her profits steadily grow every year . I've already offered a job here, "just pass your boards and come back " was the owner's exact words, she went from scary boss to friend and mentor after my years with her. I've also met optometrists from other scope of practice (private office, freelance relief work,co-management..) and majority of them love what they do from the nearly retirees to the new graduates.
My only advice to people who are considering this profession and turned off by negative comments like this is please don't apply to optometry school if you've never had any prior exposure to the field (seeing your optometrist every year doesn't count). Go talk to an OD, shadow them, work for them even better, listen to what THEY have to say about what they like and don't like about optometry. Do your homework and calculate potential income, loans, and expenses. Would the number afford your lifestyle ? will you be satisfied bringing home that amount of money doing what you do ? do you truly enjoy looking at eyeballs for a living for the rest of your life ? I know I won't be filthy rich working as an OD and I didn't go to optometry school because of it but I love what I've seen so far from my own experience. Anyway, I just want to throw in my 2 cents to lighten up this post, there's many of us that's very happy and optimistic about optometry and we have all the reasons to do so. Mic drop.
 
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